Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Revival Of An Old Beast!

Thousands of years after the last mammoth disappeared across the face of the earth, scientists have recently sequenced 50 percent of the beast’s nuclear genome. This is the first time that so much genetic material of an extinct creature has been retrieved. This has provided insight into the evolutionary history of mammoths. But most interestingly it has brought scientists a step closer towards being able to resurrect a mammoth.

Thus far the mammoth genome exists only in bits and pieces. With the complete genome of the mammoth, scientists may one day be able to bring the mammoth back. It is estimated that around 400,000 changes to the Mammoth’s Genome is needed to produce an animal that looks a lot like a mammoth; an exact replica would require several million. So watch out for a Mammoth coming to a Zoo near you.

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